Wednesday, December 20, 2006

ADD Definitions

As someone who thinks ADHD is very different to ADD Without Hyperactivity, I am a little annoyed with the latest ADD definitions that have been adopted by the American Psychiatric Association.

Whereas the two disorders were previously defined separately, ADD Without Hyperactivity is now a subset of ADHD. ADD without hyperactivity is now called ADHD Inattentive type. However, it could have been worse, for a while ADD Without Hyperactivity was called ADHD Undifferentiated type.

Although it may make scientific sense to label ADD/WO as a subset of ADHD it only adds to confusion among the public. ADD/WO is also a far less conspicuous type of disorder since people with ADD/WO tend to be fairly quiet introverts that don’t have significant behaviour problems.Hence it isn’t in the interest of people with this disorder to be put under the ADHD label.

Many of those that are sceptical of the existence of ADHD believe it is an excuse for bad behaviour. However, if it is shown that a sizeable percentage of people with attention problems don’t have behaviour problems then the sceptics will be forced to reappraise their opinions.

Calling ADD without hyperactivity inattentive ADHD is likely to confirm the popular view that ADD is primarily about hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour.

However, in my posts I'll go along with the new definitions to avoid adding to the confusion.

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